DATA: We are living in a time of great experiments. They are not happening in the lab. They are happening in the real world. And they are being financed by real people. We are witnessing the de-institutionalization of experimentation. We are returning to a time when anyone can be an inventor and innovator.
BRAND: In 2014, Chick-fil-A's average sales per restaurant were $3.1 million, the greatest of any fast-food chain in the US, reports QSR magazine. In comparison, KFC sold $960,000 per restaurant that year. The reason for Chick-fil-A's dominance is a mix of excellent food and superior customer service, according to many analysts.
BRAND: Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group today announced an update to the Project Jacquard touch-sensitive textile technology that it debuted last year. Building on its partnership with Google ATAP, Levi Strauss is making a commuter jacket featuring the technology. It’s coming out in spring 2017, with a limited beta coming this fall.
MEDIA: The new “Fuse” ads are designed to render instantly when clicked on, without requiring people to leave the Washington Post’s desktop site, mobile site or app. Like many Web ads, the Fuse units are placed within content, such as in between paragraphs of an article. But when people click or tap these ads, they render across the majority of a person’s screen and allow for further interaction without sending users to another site or app.
MEDIA: Five years on, it's clear that Snapchat wasn't a gimmick. The company was recently valued at $16 billion and now has more than 100 million daily users who spend an average of half an hour on the app every day. And it's not just teens who love Snapchat. Although the service still skews toward the millennial set—60% of all 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users are on the platform—14% of Snapchat's user base is over 35.
ECOMMERCE: It’s a daunting task that requires a keen sense of the impact and influence of social media and online consumer behavior — in particular, how shoppers respond to brands online. It also requires producing a lot of digital content as well as having e-commerce platforms that make it easier for people to shop and buy. Meanwhile companies still have to skillfully operate and merchandise their physical stores.
ECOMMERCE: The missed “influencer” imperative is just one of the findings from the study, which was conducted by Profitero, the e-commerce analytics company that monitors what shoppers see and buy online. The study featured an online Q&A with e-commerce executives at leading brands worldwide (this article focuses primarily on the U.S. segment), with questions on the staffing and maturity of brand e-commerce teams, the teams’ appraisal of their own performance, and their organizational behaviors in the marketplace.
BRAND: The ongoing McDonald's creative review initially included all three of the ad industry's largest holding companies. The client required competitors to complete their respective pitches in 60 days, with a June 30 deadline, and presented contracts forbidding future partners from turning a profit on base compensation, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Agencies would allegedly operate at cost before meeting unspecified targets for performance-based pay.
Last Word: Laughing Chewbacca Lady
The morning of May 19, The Motley Fool wrote a scathing outlook on Kohl's future. By early evening, Candace Payne's now famous video began a viral spin to a now 137,000,000 views in four days. Lucky for Kohl's, it became a de facto advertisement and it has seemingly pushed the stock price upward (though likely temporarily).
Last February, Kohl's was the department store sponsor for The Oscar's. A costly endeavor, the telecast viewed north of 35M people. Investors have responded favorably to the recent, good fortune of the Kohl's brand.
Now, for the sake of a struggling industry, let's hope that Kohl's can capitalize by optimizing its supply chain to meet demand. And let's hope that Candace Payne is accepting offers to become the "Suburban Mom" face of a retail organization that needs more of her joy. Amazon currently has no stock available. This may be the "Tickle Me Elmo" moment of our adulthood.